I installed a D-Link DWL G520 wireless network card into my main production computer this morning. All was much as one would expect. The side cover came away painlessly, and the PCI card slotted in without undue effort. It is a little closer to the intake fan on my MSI NV 6600 graphics card than I would like to see, but with only two PCI slots available, and a 56k Intel modem taking up the other slot, there is nothing to be done.

OK, that was the easy part. Now to power it all up and see what happens. According to theory, Windows should recognise the card, but the OS is not XP Pro. It is Vista Ultimate. You will pardon the short, breathless statements, but I have been here before.

Some history.. The above card had been installed in two other computers and, initially, all was well. Then came the BSOD indicating an error had been caused by the card drivers. A reboot saw all well again, but not for long. The dreaded BSOD kept returning time after time. A quick surf revealed that I was not alone in having the problem, and that there appeared to be no hard and fast fix.

Numerous e-mails with D-Link support later, some quite heated on my part, I removed the cards from the XP machines, replacing them in their manufacturer boxes. I wanted the subsequent video clip to quite clearly show what the front wheel of my Jeep 4×4 was crushing.  I did not crush the cards as it turned out. I archived them alongside a couple of old ATI 2mb grahics cards 

Back to the present.. So, now I have one of these cards fitted onto my Biostar T6100 powered production machine, and for the last two hours, it has worked like a dream. Vista picked it up instantly, albeit as the 54mb variant at first, and after having input the wireless network password, connected to the router. A visit to Vista Update saw a new driver available, accepted, downloaded, installed, running, showing the card as a 108mb variant, and signal strength rise from ‘good’ to ‘excellent’.

I have to say that XP never made it this easy. I am impressed by the way that Vista handled itself, the installation, and subsequent running. The only misgiving I have is with the card’s reliability. I will post again in aapproximately a week from now  or the first BSOD, whichever comes first.

As an addendum to the above, I did also try out the D-Link DWL G132 USB wirelss connections too. On the basis that they employed different drivers, I though that they may work.. One of them did on the old QDI A9 PIII 933 machine, but sent the ECS L7VMM3 board into a continual boot loop regardless of BIOS settings. My next project is to test the G132 on the Biostar.